Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Nerine Sarniensis

In Guernsey we are very honoured to have a beautiful South African flower named after us.
 The Nerine Sarniensis, or the Guernsey Lily (Sarnia is our Roman name).
It is rather odd, as its obviously not native, not even close,
 but it was referred to as the Garnsay Lilly as far back as 1665,
and was the first nerine to be cultivated in Europe, with reports from Paris in 1630. 
There are a few stories as to how it came to have this name, my favourite that it was washed ashore from the ship wreck of a Dutch bulb trader, and liked the climate.  But the truth is nobody knows.
But how ever it happened, we are proud of them and every year (and its happening this week) there is a Nerine exhibition at the Victorian Green house at Candie Gardens.

It is an amazing display of Nerine, on rainy grey October day, a real blast of colour.

Ta Dah! 
The Nerine Sarniensis, its a tomato red with a smattering of gold,
 a lot of locals think they have the Guernsey lily in the gardens,
but if it is bright pink, then I am sorry its not, that's the nerine bowdenni. 
It is though a lot easier to grow, as our lily doesn't like being moved
and isn't hardy (not really a problem here)

I have to admit I think this was my favourite,
but it could have been this one

But not this one, too skinny!
All down the centre of the tables were terracotta pots full of Sarniensis, beautiful

'A House of Nerines'
A gorgeous watercolour by a local Victorian Artist called W.J.Caparne, which is in the collection at Candie Museum.
And it features in the guernsey tapestry, and I have the pleasure of being able to look at it every day.

If you enjoy gardening or just appreciate flowers, do go and have a look,
its on till the end of next week.

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